Tag Archives: food

Three Secrets to Perfect Cinnamon Sugar Toast – For Dad

Scrambled eggs. Bananas in milk. Cinnamon sugar toast. The Holy Trinity of my father’s culinary capabilities, the only “dishes” he was really able to make with complete confidence. Their beauty was in their simplicity. When I think of the comforts of my childhood I often think of these foods.

The power of food to define a place, a person, a time, a memory – it’s incredible. Have you ever tasted something that seemed to transport you to somewhere in your past? Smelled something cooking and thought of the person who used to cook that for you? Seen a favorite food from childhood and remembered what things were like when you were a kid? I have. Food engages so many of the senses; it’s no wonder that cooking and eating can be highly emotional endeavors.

Tonight I made some cinnamon sugar toast in a small effort to remember my dad. He died two years ago today after a lengthy illness. I think of lots of things when I think of him. I think of his laugh, his catchphrases, his voice, his quirks, his handwriting, his talents, his love for me and my brother. And I think about the food he made us – so simple and yet so full of love.

My dad approached death with courage, humor and grace and I try to approach my life like that. I miss him all the time, but he left me with many lessons and memories. And so without further ado, I present to you the Three Secrets to Perfect Cinnamon Sugar Toast.


1: The Bread

Make sure it’s something hearty and tasty! I used a big old hunk of sunflower whole wheat bread. Toast until brown and crispy. You know how to make toast.


2: The Butter

Spread a generous amount of real butter on it while it’s still warm! If I see you using margarine I’m coming after you.


3: The Cinnamon and the Sugar and the Eating Part

Sprinkle lots of sugar. Sprinkle as little or as much cinnamon as you want. Spread it all out with a knife. Enjoy.

Thanks Pops!

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Filed under just because, recipes

A Love Letter to Avocado

Dear Avocado,

I regret that I met you only recently – the years I spent without you would have been that much more joyful with your presence. I am especially anguished to admit that I hated you at first. I thought that you were weak, useless, fat, and plagued with unfortunate skin issues, not unlike a 14-year-old videogame nerd. As far as I was concerned, you weren’t even worthy of joining me for lunch.

Does my brutal honesty offend? So be it, I must tell my truth! And while our relationship may have started off on the wrong foot, my truth is this: I love you, avocado. I love you more than Michele Bachmann loves corndogs. I love you more than Sandra Lee loves Kwanzaa cake.  I love you more than Sammi and Deena from the Jersey Shore love 6 Hour Power Energy Shots. That is to say, a lot.

I’m sorry for any hurt that my years of rejection may have caused. I recognize that your tough exterior is only there to shield your soft and delicate interior from the inequality and misunderstandings plaguing this world. You offer me nourishment when I need it most and you never fail to impress when I take you to dinner parties. I would be proud to introduce you to my mother.

Now I know it’s not easy bein’ green. But avocado, never change.

Love,
Megan

By the way, here are Five Things You Should Know About Avocados:

  1. They are really, really good for you. They get knocked for having a lot of fat, but it’s the magical “good” kind. That fat is precisely why avocados are so anti-inflammatory and why they help our bodies absorb nutrients. Fat is not the enemy, so eat your guacamole.
  2. Here is a nice tutorial on how to cut and peel an avocado from Simply Recipes. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.
  3. Avocados brown easy. If you only want to use half an avocado, save the side with the pit and sprinkle the exposed surface with lemon juice. Wrap it up tight in cling wrap and put it in the fridge so you can use it the next day. A little browning won’t kill you, by the way.
  4. Tip from me to you: Nothing makes a grilled cheese better than adding thin slices of avocado.
  5. You should try and make this and I will too. I will add feta.

Have any good avocado recipes? Let me know!

In closing, avocados are delicious. Eat them.

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5 Things to Love About the Farmers Market

If you are reading this blog, you’re probably thinking “I bet this girl likes kale.”  And you’d be right, my astute friend (although would it kill you to have a little more enthusiasm?). Well listen, I gotta get that kale from somewhere, and sometimes Shaw’s just ain’t cuttin’ it.  That’s when I need to get my farmers market on.

I love the farmers market. I will happily  spend an afternoon prancing among the vegetables, taking in the sights and sounds, and chatting up the vendors. It’s a veritable circus for the senses, minus the depressed elephants and $15 bags of popcorn. I’m lucky enough to work a couple of blocks from the Copley Square market in Boston, which is open every Tuesday and Friday until Thanksgiving. It’s great to leave the office and be surrounded by healthy, fresh food.

So allow me to kick some new flava in ya ear. Here are five awesome things about the farmers market:

1. Eyegasms

It’s all just so freakin’ pretty. These are all photos I took today in Copley Square.

It's autumn!

$5 for a whole lotta mums.

I ate some of these moments after this photo was taken.



2. Knowing who grew your food and where

This may come as a shock, so brace yourselves – Larry the stock guy in aisle 3 did not grow that apple for you. I know I know, Larry is great, but the supermarket detaches us from the reality of where our food comes from. Do you know how far that apple had to travel to get to you? Do you know how long that apple has been sitting around? (Hint: Probably 6-12 months. Most supermarkets like their apples waxed, cold, and suffocating.) Can Larry tell you how the growing season was, or why the apples cost less this year? No he can’t, poor useless lug. You have  respect for your food when you have respect for the grower, which can lead to happier, more mindful eating.

Seriously though, I wish Larry the best of luck.

3. Good for your bod, good for your mind

Even with the conflicting nutritional advice we are bombarded with every day, I have yet to hear anyone say, “Eat less fresh vegetables.” You don’t need me to tell you that fresh produce is good for you. In fact, the longer it takes for produce to go from harvest to mouth, the more nutrients are lost. The better you eat, the better you look and feel. Farmers markets make it easy.

4. Supporting farmers at a fair price

I’m not going to touch on the myriad issues that go into the high cost of food – that’s a blog post for another day. But a good way to save money is to eat in-season from the farmers market. Sure, a lot of the more exotic stuff is going to be expensive, but buying an apple in autumn is often less expensive than buying a fancy McIntosh from Whole Foods. And even if something does cost a little more, I’m ok with it – you’re handing your money over to the person who picked your dinner, after all.

5. Gosh darn it, it just tastes better

Well of course it tastes better, it’s fresh! Even the CDC could tell you that. A lot of the produce sold to us in supermarkets is anything but fresh. Take the humble tomato, for instance. Bite into a lot of conventionally-grown tomatoes and you’ll notice that something is missing – namely, flavor. That’s because most tomatoes are “picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue” (from Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland and Politics of the Plate). Appetizing! You’re unlikely to find these Frankentomatoes at the farmers market.

There are plenty of resources online if you’re looking for a market near you or are just curious as to what’s in season where you live. Do you live or work near a farmers market? What do you love about them?

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Filed under list, photos